This rotisserie chicken starts with a balance of spices, fresh herbs, and aromatics. You’ll learn how to roast the chicken until golden, savory, and crispy in harmony with a vegetable underneath. Both the chicken and roasted vegetable are finished with pan juices for a juicy and satisfying bite.
Roasting a whole chicken is:
- a great way to utilize the entire bird
In my experience, it’s also a clever way to cook chicken because the bones and skin keep the meat moist. If cooking a whole chicken is new to you, you’ll soon see that this skill can unlock limitless chicken-vegetable pairings. Imagine the weeknight possibilities!
As you can see, you can stuff fresh herbs under the skin which allows that flavor to penetrate the meat. In this guide, I’ll explore spice rubs, herbs, and vegetables that you might like to try with your chicken.
No Fuss Rotisserie Chicken in Your Oven
My definition of practical is a roast chicken recipe that you don’t have to babysit. If you like crispy skin, juicy chicken, and satisfying one-pot meals, this post will highlight how rotisserie-style chicken can happen in your oven.
Roasting in Your Dutch Oven
Good news, you don’t need special equipment (e.g. rotisserie roaster) to make rotisserie chicken at home! You can lock in all those juices and get crispy skin (no basting required) using my high-heat Dutch oven method.
Using a Dutch oven in the dry heat of the oven is a great way to capture evaporation while concentrating flavors. Here’s how it works: you create moist air flow by cooking the chicken on top of vegetables. Plus, the walls of the pot keep the chicken nice and snug so there’s no need to busy about with string. For real. You don’t have to truss your chicken!
For the vegetable, you have choices. For flavor, you want an in-season vegetable. Since it’s Fall, I’m going with rutabaga today (recipe below) but if it’s spring, I highly recommend you experience Chicken Over Radishes (yes, you can totally roast radishes and they are uh-mazing!).
MODIFYING RECIPE TO FIT A DIFFERENT POT OR PAN
This rotisserie chicken recipe is intended for a mid-size to large (5-quart and up) Dutch oven, but that doesn’t mean you need to buy a new one if the one you have is a different size. With a few adjustments, you can make this recipe fit the pot you’ve got.
My pot is smaller.
Disassemble the chicken into pieces and use a thermometer to make sure the finished internal temperature matches the one indicated in the recipe card. Chicken often fits in a smaller pot when it’s broken down.
Cast iron pan.
Your chicken will splay out a bit more and should be trussed (tie the legs together) to prevent over-cooking. You will have to baste the bird with pan-drippings every 20-minutes to prevent drying out.
Rotisserie Seasoning Ingredients
To make a tasty chicken, you only need salt and pepper. Here are a few dry rub blends that we love:
|Bold and Spicy
|1 t garlic powder
2 t paprika
1 t onion powder
1 1/2 t dried or fresh thyme
|1 t garlic powder
1 t smoked paprika
2 t chili powder
1 t onion powder
1 1/2 t dried oregano
|2 T butter
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t fennel seeds (freshly ground)
1/2 t whole cloves (for sticking in skin)
1 t ground ginger
1 T maple syrup/brown sugar
SEASONAL VEGETABLE TIPS
There are 2 practical reasons for including a vegetable underneath your chicken: (1) air-flow and (2) basting (steam rises and coats the chicken so you don’t have to!). It’s a wonderful bonus to get an entire side dish flavored exquisitely with drippings!
|whole radishes (greens to cook just before serving)
beets, peel and large dice
carrots, peel and large roll cut
artichoke hearts, whole or halved
|fennel bulb, quartered
new potatoes, skin-on, whole if small or halved
broccoli/cauliflower, large florets
summer squash, extra-large dice
whole baby bell peppers
whole Roma tomatoes
eggplant, extra-large dice
|Brussels sprouts whole
sweet potatoes large dice
winter squash large dice
whole mushrooms, such as cremini
|leeks, large 2-inch sections
cabbage, section into thick wedges
parsnips, peeled and large roll cut
turnips, peel and cut in half
Make Ahead Tip: After rubbing on the spice blend, the chicken can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before roasting.
Typically, a young chicken weighs less; there may be less fat and the flesh will be more tender. When working with a young bird, it’s good practice to place some butter underneath the skin for added fat. Cook to the recommended temperature to avoid over-cooking.
It’s ok to use this recipe for young chicken but you may end up with far less meat, so consider cooking two birds if they will fit in the same pot.
To make rotisserie chicken, you only need 4 ingredients:
- whole chicken
That said, I like to think you could perfect the chicken by thinking about how to get more flavor throughout the meat. That’s why I include lemon and onion in the cavity and fresh herbs under the skin.
You can also branch out from basic salt and pepper and include a number of dry spices on the outside for even more robust flavor.
Finally, for moisture, you can include any vegetable that you want underneath. Today, I’m going with rutabaga but I think the best vegetable I’ve tried is radishes.
First, you’ll need a Dutch oven. I have successfully roasted a whole chicken in this 6-quart Amazon Basics Dutch Oven, but mine eventually chipped. If you want my top recommendation, you should invest in a Le Creuset Dutch Oven because the consistency and quality is unparalleled.
In the first step, you will prepare your seasonal vegetable (aim for roughly 1-inch size pieces). Add the whole peeled garlic, if using, and sprinkle with olive oil and salt.
For the chicken, pat dry with paper towel to ensure the skin is dry then brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place on top of the vegetable. In the cavity of the chicken, place the lemon and scallion inside, if using. If you have fresh herbs, you mince them and gently place them between the skin and the flesh.
You don’t have to truss the chicken, but you can if you want to.
Roast for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165F and the skin is golden and crispy. Allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes. Carve the chicken on a cutting board and serve with pan juices and roasted rutabaga.
Recipe Tips and Variations
If you love crispy skin as much as we do, you might want to cook your chicken past the recommended temperature a bit. Your chicken will still be plenty juicy even if cooked until the skin is golden and the internal temperature reads 175 degrees. We love our chicken this way!
This rotisserie guide is all about celebrating seasonality and the versatility of chicken! When using this recipe, feel free to mix-and-match the vegetables and discover your favorite.
Please experiment away. If you own a smoker or a grill, your chicken would be fabulous with a little wood smoke *especially with the “bold and spicy” dry-rub.
What’s the best chicken to buy?
Look for chicken labeled “organic” if possible or buy local chickens directly from the source.
What if I want to use a bird that I’ve butchered?
Assuming you know how to process a chicken, this is a great recipe to utilize those chickens you froze whole but really works best with birds that have enough meat on them. For ultra-lean birds, you’re better off utilizing them in a chicken stock.
How long is rotisserie chicken good for?
I think it’s absolutely best served same-day (even if kept warm for hours). You can refrigerate and re-warm rotisserie chicken within 3 to 4 days, but I recommend serving leftover rotisserie chicken with a sauce, such as pesto or mayonnaise if serving on a sandwich.
How long to roast a 6 pound chicken at 350F?
Approximately 1 hour 50 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165 degrees.
What about a 5 pound chicken at 350F?
Estimate 1 hour 40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165 degrees.
How long to bake a chicken at 400F?
For an average 5-pound bird, bake for about 1 hour 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165 degrees.
Four to five pounds of pre-portioned chicken (breast, thighs, or quarters) may be substituted for the whole chicken. Reduce total baking time to 30 to 45 minutes.
Be careful to fully defrost a frozen chicken in the refrigerator (48 hours in advance) before proceeding with this recipe or else you run the risk of under-cooking in areas that take longer to defrost.
Don’t do it! Many people think that rinsing a chicken is a good idea. You will just spread any germs to your kitchen sink. Cooking to 165F will kill salmonella.
I mentioned this recipe utilizes the entire bird. You can save the carcass and make chicken stock or compost it. Just don’t give it to the dog because those bones can splinter into sharp pieces that can hurt your pup.
Many whole chickens are sold frozen with or without the organ meat. Check the cavity of the bird for a pouch and remove it. Inside, you will find the liver, heart, and kidneys. After soaking in milk for a few minutes, you can pan-sear chicken organs in butter and eat; organ meat is highly nutritious. You can also use organs to create gravy or feed to cats and dogs.
Don’t you just love this style of cooking? It’s so convenient and worth keeping an extra frozen whole chicken in the freezer. You never know when you need a simple option for family dinner or even for entertaining.
To keep the rotisserie chicken warm (slow cooker):
Place the chicken in the slow cooker on the lowest possible setting (usually “warm”) for up to 8 hours.
Ideas For Using Leftover Rotisserie Chicken:
- Asparagus Watercress Salad with Rotisserie Chicken
- Easy Chicken Tinga Tacos
- Curried Chicken Egg Salad in Collard Green Wraps
- Tuscan Kale Salad – Featuring my Essential Lemon Garlic Sauce (a must-try!)
- 1-Pot Cheesy Enchiladas
- Just re-warm and pair it with my Taco Shop Guacamole Sauce
Rotisserie Chicken Recipe (with Seasonal Vegetable)
- 2 rutabagas or whatever vegetable you like
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 whole chicken 4- to 5-pound
- 1 lemon
- 3 scallions
- Fresh herbs optional
- Preheat the oven to 425℉. Peel the rutabaga and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices, discarding the ends. Then cut into 1-inch cubes. Spread the rutabaga in the bottom of a Dutch oven; add the whole peeled garlic cloves and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and brush with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper and set on top of the rutabaga. Quarter the lemon and fold the scallions, stuff them inside the cavity of the chicken. If adding fresh herbs, stuff them under the skin.
- Roast for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165F and the skin is golden and crispy. Allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes. Carve the chicken on a cutting board and serve with pan juices and roasted rutabaga.
- Chicken: 4 to 5 pounds of chicken pieces such as breast, thighs, or quarters may be substituted for the whole chicken. Reduce total baking time to 30 to 45 minutes.
- Seasonal Vegetable: Aim for up to 3 cups of your favorite sturdy in-season vegetable. See the post for my suggestions.
- Trussing the chicken: Trussing your chicken ensures an evenly-cooked bird but I typically skip this step when cooking in a Dutch oven.
- Basting: If you go the cast iron pan route, you should baste the chicken every 20 minutes or so to keep everything moist.
- Make ahead:Assemble the chicken over the rutabaga and store in the Dutch oven, covered, for up to a day. Roast before serving.
- Slow cooker: The skin won’t get crispy, but the chicken will still be tender and flavorful. Transfer your chicken and any vegetables to a slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
- Leftovers: Cool leftovers within 30 minutes and store covered in the refrigerator (in the Dutch oven if you want). Use within 3 to 4 days.
- Making 2 chickens: If there’s room in your pot, you could roast 2 small chickens instead of 1 and test for doneness as soon as the skin appears golden.
Photography by Adam Rahman
Shop the Products
The Frayed Apron may earn money if you buy through these links.